A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: nzhamsta

2019 - China & Japan (Part 5 - Kyoto I)

The first two days in an amazing and historical city.

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Monday 26 August

A morning's travel from Hiroshima to Kyoto. Firstly a streetcar to the main station, then the traditional Japanese breakfast of a McMuffin and coffee, then the Nozomi 126 shinkansen to Shin Osaka, a local train to Kyoto, and finally the subway up to Shijo station. It was a bit odd that our rail pass did not cover the bullet train from Shin Osaka to Kyoto even though the train we were on actually went to Kyoto. We had to get off at Shin Osaka and find a local job to get us to Kyoto. Never mind, navigating one's way around vast railway stations is always part of the travel experience.

After checking in to our hotel on a little side street just around the corner from the subway station, we went for a walk around the area. We found the Nishiki market, a vast covered market parallel to the main street. It has a huge number of shops selling all sorts of stuff, food etc. The main rule is that if you buy food to eat, you must stand there are eat it outside the shop you bought it in. Walking and eating is considered very rude and is thus frowned upon and there are signs reminding you of that fact.

The covered market covers a large area and includes the main street and many side streets.

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Nishiki Market.

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Inside Nishiki Market.

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Inside Nishiki Market.

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The most amazing cake baking machine ever invented.

As with most cities, tasty dinners can be found in out of way places. We found a small restaurant in an underground shopping area opposite the hotel and it was the last one on the right.

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A tasty dinner of fish, noodles, vegetables, rice and condiments.

Tuesday 27 August

A long walk through Gion, the old part of the city. On the eastern side of the Kamo River are a large number of temples, shrines, parks, markets, touristy shopping streets and coffee houses climbing up the hills.

Firstly we walked down Hanamikoji Street. This is a very traditional street and contains many small restaurants and tea houses. It is also home to the geisha area. At the end of the street is the Kenninji Templex complex.

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On the corner of Shijo-Dori and Hanamikoji-Dori.

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Small places in the back streets of Gion.

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Another typical building in the back streets of Gion.

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More traditional Japanese architecture.

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Japanese foliage.

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Part of the Kenninji Temple complex.

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Hung at Kenninji Temple.

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Part of the Kenninji Temple complex.

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Part of the Kenninji Temple complex.

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Inside the Kenninji Temple complex.

From there we went back to the main road and into the Yasaka Shrine and through Maruyama Park. This is typical of Japanese parks with beautifully curated gardens, lakes, seating areas and so on.

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The front gate to the Yasaka Shrine complex.

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Inside the Yasaka Shrine.

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Inside the Yasaka Shrine.

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One of the lakes at Maruyama Park.

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Maruyama Park.

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Maruyama Park.

From there the road wind along the hillside towards Kodaji Park.

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Kodaji Temple.

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Tourists at Kodaji Park.

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Kodaji Temple.

The park's exit leads into the many touristy shopping streets in the area, especially Ninen zaka Street and Sannen zaka Street. These streets are lined with countless small shops selling everything a tourist could ever want, including, given the humidity, lots of water.

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Ninen zaka Street.

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Taxi!

Somehow we missed the big temple in the area. We got to the end of Ninen zaka Street and turned right (understandable really as it was leading down hill!) rather than turning left and climbing up to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Our loss.

The long walk down the hill took us past the Hokanji Temple (Yasaka Pagoda) and back to the river.

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The Yasaka Pagoda.

A decent walk. After an afternoon nap, we went back to Gion to see what it looked like at night.

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The back streets of Gion.

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The entrance to the Yasaka Shrine complex.

We found an okay noodle place for dinner next to some of the more interesting bars and clubs in town.

Posted by nzhamsta 12:00 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

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